An invasive species is any non-native organism that causes economic or environmental harm. When a plant introduced to a new environment where it does not have natural predators to keep it in check, it can quickly overtake native populations.
Most invasive species are unintentionally introduced by human activities. That’s why each of us has a part to play in preventing and controlling their spread.
The European chafer beetle (Rhizotrogus majalis) is a new turf pest in the Lower Mainland that was recently identified in West Vancouver. It has been a serious pest in Eastern North America for some time and was first identified in New Westminster in 2001. It has since spread to many Metro Vancouver municipalities, causing considerable damage to lawns, boulevards and medians.
Chafer beetle populations grow quickly, damaging turf on lawns, boulevards, grass sports fields and parks. The grubs feed on the roots of grass lawns. In drier weather, the damage appears as brown patches in the lawn. Birds and animals (especially skunks and crows) cause further damage by digging for the grubs. Damage by animals is most severe in the fall and spring when the grubs are rapidly increasing in size and feeding near the surface. Chafer beetles have a one-year life cycle.
Bullfrogs are a non-native frog species that have been introduced to BC where they displace native frogs. They are established in BC and their range is spreading across the Lower Mainland and on Vancouver Island.
They are originally from the eastern part of North America and were introduced to BC by frog farmers that harvest them for frog legs. Since their introduction in the early twentieth century, they have spread both on their own and with help from humans. Bullfrogs are most active in the summer during the breeding season (June and July).
Hemlock Looper Moths
The western hemlock looper moth is a native species, and is part of the natural coastal forest ecosystem that feeds on trees. The moths primarily feed on western hemlock, Douglas-fir, and western redcedar trees, but can also be seen on fir and spruce when populations are high.
Although Japanese beetles haven’t been found in West Vancouver, the District is aware that they have been found in other areas of the Lower Mainland and staff are keeping watch.
Green and yellow torpedo traps have been set up throughout Metro Vancouver, including in West Vancouver, by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). Please do not tamper with these traps.
Japanese beetles are an invasive species that can cause significant damage compared to other pests, such as European chafer beetles. Adult Japanese beetles eat foliage and fruit of more than 250 kinds of plants, and can impact gardens and agricultural crops. Larvae feed on the roots of lawns and other plants.
The first live Japanese beetle in Vancouver was discovered in a CFIA trap near False Creek in 2017. Beginning in February 2019, an expanded containment area was established to limit the movement of soil and plant material in areas around False Creek, downtown and Stanley Park.